Fort Rodman

About this Location

Fort Rodman is a historic American Civil War-era military fort on Wharf Road within the former Fort Rodman Military Reservation in New Bedford. The fort is now part of Fort Taber Park, a 47-acre town park located at Clark’s Point. Fort Taber was an earthwork built nearby with city resources and garrisoned 1861-1863 until Fort Rodman was ready for service.

Also known as the Old Stone Fort, Fort Rodman (known as “Fort at Clark’s Point” until 1898) began construction in 1857 under the third system of US fortifications, and in 1862 construction became overseen by Henry Robert, author of Robert’s Rules of Order and an Army Corps of Engineers officer. The fort, as built, had emplacements for 72 cannon in three tiers; a fourth tier was originally planned, but this was removed from the design to allow more timely completion. Construction was halted in 1871, and the fort as planned was never completed.

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